The Public Prosecutor’s appeal against the suspended sentence of David Pattinson from the United Kingdom has been allowed and he will be serving two years behind bars.
The 73-year-old has been reported missing by Police in Port Vila since last month and police are still investigating his whereabouts.
His suspended sentence of 2 years imprisonment which was changed by the Court of Appeal to custodial sentence was for one charge of indecency with a young person contrary to section 98A of the Penal Code [Cap 135].
The trial Judge had suspended the sentence and ordered Pattinson to perform a custom reconciliation ceremony with the young boy he victimized.
Three grounds were set out by the Public Prosecutor for the appeal.
Firstly that too much weight was given to personal mitigating factors; secondly that the judge did not treat the respondent’s offending as seriously as the facts warranted and thirdly, the judge suspended the sentence and the circumstances of the case required an immediate custodial sentence.
Evidence from the accused accepted by the trial judge shows that there were at least two occasions of indecency.
One onboard Pattinson’s yacht at Mele Bay and second incident happened in the Hibiscus Motel in Port Vila.
Claiming to be a naturist he admitted he and the victim were both naked but denied doing anything else.
Mitigating factors that led to the suspension of sentence of two years for 12 months includes his advance age, poor health, and 5 months already spent in custody.
The judge also referred to his support, including financial support of a family of 9.
Other circumstances particular to the case the judge says warrant a suspended sentence include previous good behavior, and that he is still in denial and trying to justify his offending with self-claim as a nudist.
Accepting the appeal from the Public Prosecutor the Court of Appeal ordered the arrest of the Englishman who will start serving his two-year sentence starting on the day he is arrested.
Meanwhile Police confirmed this week that the wanted child abuser is still at large.
Pattinson reportedly disappeared at the Whitesands Country area in west Efate last month.
Daily Post was informed the 73-year-old was visiting friends at the Whitesands and was last seen walking towards the Teachers Union Subdivision.
The general public is encouraged to notify the Police if they see him or have information that can lead to his arrest.
This is not the first time for the Englishman man to disappear.
After his first arrest for the offence he delayed prosecution by breaching bail condition by allegedly leaving the country.